Thursday, May 14, 2015

St. George Island, FL

I told you we have fun(ish) times and it's true. Right before Abe's hospital stay, we got to enjoy a week long beach vacay with friends we met at church. We have kiddos the same age and we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to all live in a house together for a week? The kids will play and it will be fun!" At least that was our pep talk to each other when positivity was flowing. The other part of the time we were wondering what in the world we were all thinking. Brave, we are. We set off on a journey to St. George Island, FL and didn't look back. 
So glad we did it! We made some great memories and even though we were outnumbered by the kids, I think we had some fun, too.
Do you know how awesome it is to wake up and be able to exercise and study the bible with one of your best friends? Pretty awesome. She has great insight into the Word of God and is one of those people you can just talk to about anything. It was so nice to have so much girl time first thing in the a.m. As you can see, we are often wayyyyy outnumbered by little boys.
And the kids weren't too bad. Sure, they refused to sleep at times. They pitched two year old tantrums. They interrupted our beach layin', book reading, nap taking mornings, but who needs those? Chasing babies is nearly as fun. ;) They played and played and let the sun drain them.

We caught fish.
We dated.

Abel heard the ocean for the first time despite living there for a big chunk of his life.
It was great, really! Beats the heck out of the hospital any ole day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

9 Months

All throughout my pregnancy with Kinley and into his first full year of life, I wrote him monthly letters. In them I described what was new, how I felt about him, and all of those sweet little things you might find in a baby book. At the end of the year, I printed them in a book, each with a corresponding monthly picture of him with the numbered stickers that everyone does. I was on top of it! Abel made his way into the world about fifteen months after Kinley, but still I made a point to write during his first year and snap those photos, too. I think I only missed one month writing him, but I did have the photos! Enter Merit. The poor third baby. I think I have months 1-4 photos and maybe, I don't know, two letters. Whoops. I hope he'll forgive me.
This month marks nine with him attached to my hip instead of the umbilical cord. I can hardly believe it. It has been the hardest year I've ever had but it has nothing to do with him. He is the most delightful child. I put him down and he sleeps. I smile at him and he laughs. I switch up his routine? No problem. He rolls with the punches. Sweet, sweet baby. If they were all like him, I'd have a dozen more.
He doesn't crawl. He sits, leeeaaans, and reaches but hasn't braved the all fours position. I'm not surprised. All my boys have been late crawlers (according to Drs standards) and walkers. Typically, they only crawl for 3 weeks or so and then they're all about their big boy status with walking. I mourn in silence that I actually have to have shoes for them then. I already dread thinking about finding three sets of little boy shoes every single time I walk out the door. I'm pretty sure I spend 72% of my day putting shoes back on all those little feet. I digress. We were talking about Merit, weren't we? What else can I share?
His brothers are so good with him. They are quick to entertain him when he gets bored and starts to fuss. They'll search for pacis, do a little dance, or even share their toys just to see him smile again. It's that bright. You can't look at a smiling Merit and not feel happy. His attitude is infectious. When I walk into the room, his whole upper half starts shaking violently and his arms flail about as if he's having a conniption and must, must, MUST be in my arms. I love it. Truthfully, he'll do that with about anyone, but I'm the only one he actually reaches to so at least I have that.
Merit has said: mama, dada, and hi. That is for sure the earliest any of my kids have uttered words. I think he only said them so I would quit getting his hearing tested every 3.7 seconds. 
I love him so. He's my breath of fresh air every day and I'm so glad I'm not waddling around this May waiting to be able to hold him in my arms. I can just go scoop him up almost any time I want and I'm doing just that. I'm trying so hard to savor this time. His little life has flown by and my heart feels so strange when I see newborn photos of him now. It just doesn't seem possible since that was just yesterday, I'm sure of it!

More Rain

I hate that this blog has become my dumping place for all the lowly emotions. We have happy times. Lots of them. I'm just too busy savoring the good to make a point to write during them. There have been highs and lows since I last wrote. To catch you up (in case we're not facebook friends), Abel was discovered to have a bacteria growing inside his middle ear and around his cochlear implants. Oral antibiotics were not touching it so they admitted him to clean out his ear and put him on IV antibiotics for awhile in the hospital. The surgery was nearly five hours long, but the surgeon came out smiling saying he thought he got it all and was able to salvage the implant. We continued to get good news after we were released from the hospital early thanks to Infectious Disease (ID) who said the infection appeared to be gone. They cultured from every angle and nothing was growing on the results.

This morning I was planning to get the boys out and do something fun. They all deserve a little fun. My phone rang and my heart dropped as I saw the 615 area code. Always bad news from Nashville, it seems. On the other line, the surgeon told me an update. They found two bacteria growing now which means more medicine. I truly thought, prayed, and believed that this was behind us and it's not. It's so upsetting. I wish I could take it from him. I'd gladly take disgusting medicine several times a day, spend much of my life in the car or at some office, and have my head operated on more times than I have fingers if it meant that I could shield him from it. I just feel so helpless in all of this. I've followed medical advice. I've followed spiritual advice. I can't do anything to help him.
When it rains, it pours. The rain just keeps coming. It's soaking my boys, me, and my marriage. I am so tired. This brief period of a few days was an umbrella shielding us from the cold and wet of the storm, but that's gone now, too and I'm left standing alone in the rain again. I know God is with me, with us. But that doesn't change the fact that I just want all the rain to stop.

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